Four reasons businesses should announce funding news to the media
Every day, we cross paths with some seriously cool tech companies, some of which have received game-changing amounts of funding. And yet, we’re often faced with the same question: is it worth announcing funding news to the media?
Many startups see funding as an everyday occurrence: it’s part of the startup to scaleup lifecycle. While a lot of businesses do receive funding, that doesn’t make it any less interesting. And there are some very good business reasons why you should promote the news.
Keep reading to find out four reasons why you should be spreading the word about your investment, both in the media, and across all your comms channels. We’ve also thrown in useful some tips to get you started.
ONE: Success breeds success
So, you’ve achieved the funding you wanted. Now what? Well, apart from cracking on with putting the investment to good use, it’s worth just taking a beat to think about how this can be used as an opportunity to showcase the success you have already achieved.
Plus, most businesses don’t stop at the one funding round: they go on to achieve further investment, whether from angel investors, venture capitalists, or private equity firms so leveraging social channels and news sites to show off that you are worth investing in, isn’t a bad idea.
Investors consume media about investments. So, if you want to get onto their radar, sharing your funding news is a good way to do so. These individuals and organisations have lots of brands vying for their attention, so imagine if they have already heard of you when you come knocking? That’s gotta be a good feeling, right?!
TWO: Funding announcements are a good brand launch tool
Established businesses have plenty of opportunities to talk to the media: new hires, partnerships, original research, and even commenting on trending news stories. All of this is possible for smaller businesses too but, without taking time to brand recognition, it takes a little more work. So when you do have news to share – like closing your funding – you’re missing an opportunity if you don’t use this to help build up some awareness. Our mantra is always… If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
A lot of the companies we talk to initially don’t want to announce funding as they insist on holding out for their first big product launch. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. There are so many new businesses launching, it’s easy to slip by unnoticed. Especially if you launch at a time when the media is focusing on a particular topic, such as the Budget. However, tying your new product launch to a funding story is a clever way to make a bigger splash, and attract more media attention.
THREE: Funding news is a great tool to build media relationships and credibility
Following on from the above, a funding news story is a great way to properly launch your business in the eyes of the media. Even if a publication doesn’t usually cover funding news, you could reach out and share the news as part of a wider pitch about why you exist and the challenges in the world you are tackling. This may lead to knock-on thought-leadership, bylines and profile opportunities, even if you don’t get the actual funding news published.
It’s also a great tool to build some wider credibility ahead of new clients and customers starting to research who you are.
Achieving media coverage for your funding helps boost your online footprint. Should anyone search for you (whether a prospective customer or investor) they’ll be greeted by more than just your website and erroneous search results.
And what if it’s print, not digital, media coverage? Reference where you’ve been featured on your blog (more on that in our top tips section).
FOUR: Funding news aids recruitment
No doubt, a successful round will supercharge your business strategy, leading to inevitable growth. That growth often comes with the need for new hires. If you choose not to treat your funding announcement strategically, think about all the lost talent that may never know that you’ve just acquired the cash to expand and hire.
Top tier candidates do their research before committing to a new role, and many will search through historic company news — including funding stories.
Think about it this way, what does funding news say about your company? It suggests you’re exciting and fast-moving. This means you may be looking to expand the team, and develop your proposition. All of which serves to make you more attractive to the best candidates out there.
Top tips for announcing your funding to the media
Despite the many benefits of using your funding for PR, there are a few caveats. Journalists will usually only cover rounds of £1m or more. This means you may struggle to get coverage for seed funding. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a plan for how you hustle on your own channels to make this news work for you.
Additionally, journalists will expect you to name at least one investor. Working with them to make your media announcement can be also beneficial. If they are well-known and journalists will have heard of them, leveraging their name will make you look more credible and could put you at the top of a very big pile of news. You should also be prepared to specify what you intend to do with the funding. This makes the story more interesting, which means it’s more likely to be covered.
And now for our top three tips…
- Plan your campaign: think about who you’re targeting, and why. The goal of PR is to gain exposure in the media sources consumed and trusted by your target audience. Don’t reach out to everyone in the hope someone will bite. Journalists hate being sent material that’s irrelevant to them, and you may find yourself permanently blacklisted.
- Journalists may ask for case studies or proof of concepts, demonstrating how your business has added value to your customers. Depending on what you do, this may require some data as well as testimonials from users. If you can, get several case studies lined up before you begin media outreach. Bear in mind that most publications will insist on original case studies. If it has appeared in the media before, you probably can’t use it again.
- PR doesn’t stop when you achieve a piece of media coverage! Whenever your business appears in an article, you need to promote it aggressively. Putting it on your blog is fine, but creating a ‘press’ section on your site is better. Then, be sure to share repeatedly across all social media channels. Make your PR work for you.